Dr. Michael K. McLendon
Dean, School of Education
If, as the writer T.S. Eliot sensibly observed, “Home is where one starts from,” then in having returned to Baylor, I have returned home indeed.
It was here where my love of universities first began. It was here where my desire one day to teach in and lead universities first found inspiration. It was here where my commitment one day to return to this particular University, in service to its principled purposes, first took expression.
Today I feel enormous privilege in having returned to Baylor, with the charge of leading a talented and committed community to achieve the full measure of its greatness as the School nears the culmination of its first full century in existence.
The foundations of our home — this School of Education — are firm. The stewardship of generations of faithful alumni, friends and faculty has placed the School on a strong footing. Our teacher education programs have become an emulated model. The clinics our faculty operate provide life-changing services for children in the community. Our faculty continue to pioneer innovative programs to meet the leadership needs of the state.
Yet our world needs Baylor’s School of Education to do still more — and to do it better than ever. The acute demand for relevant and rigorous evidence-based scholarship compels us to strengthen our research capacity and visibility. We must remain relentlessly focused on quality and innovativeness in our academic programs. As changes in the demography of our society accelerate, so too must our commitment to educating professionals who can help improve student learning in all communities, particularly diverse ones.
In order to fulfill our calling, the School has begun a series of conversations about how best it can position itself for greatest impact. What are the 21st Century problems in education we believe the School must help solve? How can we deepen the School’s impact on education and society? How best can we recruit outstanding students from across Texas and faculty from throughout the nation? How can we ensure the highest possible educational value for our students?
Ours are historic times. As the School of Education nears its Centennial anniversary, in 2019, I invite you to turn — as I did — “homeward.” Let me know your views on questions such as those we are asking ourselves. Please consider ways you can help us fulfill our mission. And come visit with us; we will gladly welcome you home.